Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
REMEMBERING GOD’S MERCIES
"The men followed Joshua's orders. As the Lord had commanded Joshua, they took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, one for each of the tribes of Israel carried them to the camping place…” (V. 8)Memorial Stones are set up.
Joshua Chapter 4 gives an account of the miraculous passage of Israel
through Jordan. Although they were busy in passing over Jordan, Joshua and the people were obedient to the commandments of the Lord. As instructed, they took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each of the tribes of Israel carried them to the camping place, and set them up there. It is pertinent to see that God allowed all the tribes of Israel to participate in this venture to set up the memorial, and not the Levites alone. Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan where the priests carrying the Covenant Box stood, as another monument, in obedience to God's order. Very explicitly God has told them the reason for setting up the monument of the stones in Gilgal. They would give occasion to the children to ask their parents in time to come, how came these stones here? and then the parents would inform that in this place the Jordan was divided by the Almighty God to give Israel passage into Canaan.
Spiritual Landmarks in our life
We need to establish some spiritual landmarks in our life to remind us of the times when God intervened on our behalf. Some one has said, "We are not slow learners but just quick forgetters." How soon we forget or claim credit for things we had little to do with. When God parted the Jordan River, His people to cross over, He knew something they did not know- that on the other side they would face some big challenges including the wall of Jericho. That's when they would need 'reminders'. So He told them to collect twelve stones from the Jordan and build a monument on the dry land in Gilgal. When they look at the stones which were brought by themselves from the deepest part of the river, not by their might, but by the grace of the Almighty, they must remember that the God of Israel is still with them and He will bring miracles to face the challenges. So they and their children would recall His past mercies and faithfulness to them. Samuel did the same after Israel defeated the Philistines. He took a stone and named it "Ebenezer" meaning ' thus far the Lord has helped us'. (1 Samuel: 7:12) Before you give in to discouragement, doubt or defeat, stop and recall what God has done for you thus far.
Prayer: Wonderful God, you parted the Jordan for your people and wanted them to remember your miraculous intervention in their deliverance. Dear Lord help us not to forget your power and mercy in the midst of our ‘Jordans’. Amen.
Dr. Thomas David, St. Thomas MTC, New York.